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In my 20s, I bounced from job to job as a barista at Starbucks, a nanny and even a matchmaker. As someone who had always achieved great things in school — straight A’s, graduating at the top of my class, getting into top graduate schools — finding myself in a quarter-life crisis without any real direction wasn’t great for my morale.
There were moments when I literally had to avoid friends or do a digital detox as I saw people getting their dream jobs, making six-figures and getting married. I was jealous that they had the life I wanted. Fortunately I was able to turn my envy into a success strategy.
Now, as a seven-figure business owner and success coach to hundreds of clients and students, living in an incredible six-bedroom home in London and working with my loving husband, my life is better than I could have predicted.
From my experience, I learned jealousy wasn’t always a bad thing. Here are some ways to use it to find success:
Jealousy can show you what’s possible.
When I first started my business, I was greatly impacted by top female coaches in my industry, and I remember one in particular telling me she had created a multiple six-figure business in her first year. She also told me it was possible to turn my yearly salary into my monthly salary.
At first, I was skeptical (and jealous of what she had created) but then I chose to think of it in a different way. If she’d done it (a normal woman from the MidWest like me), didn’t that mean I could too?
I used that jealousy to help me create a million-dollar business in my first 18 months and support other woman in transforming their finances and achieving faster success as well.
The way I see it, jealousy isn’t an indication of someone having something that you can’t have. It isn’t a sign that something is already taken or that there’s no space for you. Someone doing what you want to do means it’s possible for you, too.
Jealousy can be a motivator to go to the next level.
As an entrepreneur, I have a lot of friends who are also highly-driven business owners. We have mastermind sessions together and regularly talk about our achievements and challenges, goals for the future and the ways in which we’re going to reach our big dreams.
At least weekly during these calls, I get jealous of their ideas and success stories — getting a book deal with a top publisher, hosting a sold-out event, working with a dream mentor, growing their email list to 50,000. You name it, and it makes me jealous.
But I’ve learned to use that jealous to motivate me to go to the next level, not stop me from trying or even cut ties with them. I look at that jealousy as a coach: encouraging me to move forward with my goals and as an indication of what I want and what my next steps are.
Jealousy can be an opportunity to deepen key relationships.
A few years ago, I was told that that the best time to send a thank-you card or email is in the moment when you’re feeling jealous of someone. At the time, I thought that was a strange piece of advice, but now I get it.
Giving praise where praise is due is important, especially when you don’t feel like it. I’m sure you love when people reach out and tell you your product or service changed their life, your new website is to die for or you’re really impacting the world. Those around you — even if they seem to have all of the recognition they need — are craving that too.
And who knows? In addition to making someone else feel good about what they’ve accomplished, reaching out and connecting with that person may lead to a door opening that helps you achieve your goals. It may put you on the radar of someone important in your industry, get your work or product noticed or it may just connect you with another human in a meaningful way — and we can all use a little more of that!
The next time, you feel jealous — when you see someone hitting financial milestones, nabbing that coveted media interview or speaking on a big stage — don’t try to squash the emotion. Instead, be open to what it reveals and where it takes you. Jealousy, if you let it, can help you achieve more success than you ever imagined was possible.